A lot of things about adulthood have surprised me—how much mirrors cost, how quickly the vegetables in my fridge go bad, how I feel in the morning after drinking two glasses of wine. But very few things have surprised me as much as Abercrombie jeans becoming my most-worn pants again at the ripe old age of 25.
It’s not a secret that Abercrombie & Fitch has done a complete rebrand, and has had a comeback that very few retailers have managed to nail. From their mission to their sizing to their clothes, the Abercrombie of today is a far cry from the one that you knew back in middle school (though we really did love it then too). Now, it’s all grown up, and if you’ve been on social media in the past two years, you probably know that Abercrombie jeans are in the running for the most-loved on the internet.
With an affordable price tag, high quality, dozens of variations, and sizing that ensures anyone can find a pair that fits just right, Abercrombie jeans have gone viral for a good reason (and speaking from experience, they really do deserve the hype). But with so many options, how do you know which pair is for you? That’s what me and my fellow editor Beth sought to answer.
Dad jeans, mom jeans, relaxed jeans, ’90s jeans—they all sound similar, and it can be hard to decide which you want for yourself (and what size is going to fit you best). As women of the people, Beth and I ventured to our closest Abercrombie to try on every single pair they had, and broke down what makes them different, who they’re best for, and gave the nitty gritty on the sizing. Ready for jeans you actually want to put on? We’ve found them for you.
M: These are my own jeans that I’ve had for over a year that I wore to the store. Of all my jeans, these are by far my most-worn. They’re a thicker material that feel truly vintage, and it’s always been on my list to pick them up in more washes. I’m 5’5″, and the regular length are the perfect full length on me without being so long they bunch up. I also find them to be a classic straight fit, without the legs being too tight or veering into being wide-leg.
I find these to be some of the most flattering straight-leg jeans I’ve ever owned. If I had to come up with a complaint about them, I don’t think I could. I have dozens of jeans and reach for these almost every time I get dressed, and I think that says it all. If you haven’t tried these, you would be doing yourself a favor to pick them up. These truly rival options that are 2-3 times the price.
B: Hello, welcome to my bedroom! Unlike Abercrombie of decades past, the store does carry my size, but I think mine must be extremely popular. This style (and a few others you’ll see M try on below) weren’t available in my size; luckily, I already had them tucked away with my jeans at home. These were the first Abercrombie jeans I tried that started my love affair. You’ll notice they look a little different than the ones above, and that’s because I chopped off the bottoms. I love everything about how these jeans fit: the waist, hips, butt, thighs, the straight leg—they’re a dream I never thought was possible.
… But the full-length is something I just cannot get behind. I’m 5’5, but pretty much all of my height is in my torso, so these touched the ground a little too much for my liking. I could only really wear them with heeled booties. But I liked every other thing about them, so I gave them a raw hem and chopped them off to be a better length on me (just at the ankle). If I order these again, I’ll probably try the “short” variation to see if that hits at a better length on me.
True to size, but can be worn one size up for a looser fit
M: I’ve been absolutely dying to try these and am so glad I finally did. While I thought they’d be the same as the aforementioned ’90s high rises that I love so much but in a more flexible fabric, I was wrong.
If I had to describe these, I’d say they’re a hybrid between a straight and wide leg jean. They are a liiiiiittle wider on the leg than a classic straight jean, so if you need a little more room in the thigh (me) they’re a really great option. Them being called the effortless ’90s jean is really on the nose because they do just feel more effortless than my regular jeans. I think these are an amazing summer jean and just look cool.
B: I did not try these because they didn’t have my size in the store, but I am ITCHING to.
True to size
M: I’ll tell you one thing: I own several pairs of these jeans and have worn them truly to absolute death. I’ll say it until I die: Everyone should own a good skinny jean. They’re necessary for so many outfits (especially with boots).
These are truly the perfect skinny jean. They have a little give without being stretchy (which is never good in a skinny jean since it’ll make you end the day with a saggy butt). I find them to be both extremely comfortable and extremely flattering. They also hit right above the ankle which is exactly how I want my skinnys to fit.
B: Ah, ole ye’ faithful. I haven’t put a pair of skinny jeans on my body since, IDK, ’18? Listen, I’m not an anti-skinny-jean Gen-Zer, but I’m accustomed to appreciating the feeling of jeans not touching my calves. While trying these on, I was reminded that skinny jeans are often made of a very stretchy fabric, which is something I absolutely despise in jeans. Give me your stiffest vintage Levi’s 501s over a jean that resembles that of a middle school jegging. With that said, I was able to size down in these as long as I opted for the curvy line.
A crisp pair of white skinny jeans has a high order to live up to, and these were truly lovely. If I needed a pair for an event, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up these. They weren’t see-through at all (and I was wearing bright pink underwear), and I felt like they kept their shape well. I believe these are specifically the skinny ankle jeans, and the length was perfect on me.
True to size, but if you’re between sizes, size down
M: These are one of the jeans I was most excited to try because this is where I start to get confused. Mom jean, dad jean, ’90s jean—what’s the difference? Right away though, I understood why these are called the dad jeans.
Off the bat, I noticed that these are definitely a thicker material. Beth described them to me as like if you put on your dad’s old Wrangler jeans, and that really hits the nail on the head. Compared to the ’90s jeans, these had a bit more room throughout the entire leg on me, but with the addition of a button fly, they cinched in my waist at the same time.
These truly feel like if you went to a thrift store and magically found a pair of bomb vintage jeans that fit you just right. They are very flattering and relaxed and overall give a more grungy, vintage feel than my classic straight leg jeans.
B: Ha, I saw these on my phone when I was going through these photos, and thought, “OMG, those look so good—which style are those?” Lo and behold, they were the style that I literally own and came to the store in. Do I have great taste or what?
I’ve had these jeans a few months, and they have quickly become my absolute favorite. I want them in as many washes as humanly possible. I get my true size in the short version, and they fit me at the exact point between an ankle jean and a full-length jean. (I’m 5’5 but most of my height is in my torso). I’ve worn these maybe three times before this (and I’ll wash them this week, I promise—I stand firm in not washing jeans too much), and they’re not baggy or look like they haven’t been washed. These fit me exactly how I’ve always wanted a pair of straight-leg, vintage-style jeans to fit.
True to size
M: I personally own several pairs of these jeans so could speak on them extensively. These jeans are defined by one major thing for me: They’re extremely comfortable.
As opposed to the dad jean, these are a bit thinner of a jean with an ever-so-slightly more stretchy fabric. The leg is slimmer overall, and tapers as it gets closer to the ankle. These really are a true pair of mom jeans. They give you that wedgie effect that your mom’s jeans did in the ’90s, which I find super flattering and cool.
Sometimes I want a slimmer straight jean, and these are the ones I reach for. In my true size, they’re kind of a hybrid between straight leg jeans and skinny jeans, and they’re some of my favorite jeans of all time.
B: Womp, womp. I have no picture in these because they would not zip one bit. For me, the main difference in the mom and dad jeans is the material. The Dad jeans are a very standard, vintage-jean material. They’re thick and weighty, which some people might not like, whereas I find that they give me the best fit and feel really good against my body. The Mom jean is a thinner denim, so if you prefer something more lightweight that feels less like a pair of jeans you actually stole from your dad, you’ll probably prefer these. If I tried these again, I would definitely need to size up, and maybe even opt for the curvy option for a little extra room.
I also can tell the difference in how secure I feel in a pair of jeans based on if there’s a zip-fly or button-fly. These have a zip-fly, while the Dad jeans have a button-fly, and I prefer the buttons. They hold me in at my stomach really well, whereas the zipper just doesn’t give that effect.
True to size, but if you’re between sizes, size up
M: If you choose one single time to listen to me on this site, believe this: You should not be afraid of these jeans just because it says they are low rise.
I think for those of us who grew up wearing Abercrombie jeans to middle school that had about two inches of fabric between the crotch and the waist, we think low rise are much lower than they really are. These are not that low—they just aren’t high rise. I actually would say that they’re just more of a regular waist. And in this style, I think that the high rise would look off. The combination of the lower rise with the wider leg of the jean that flares slightly at the bottom feels very vintage in more of a groovy way. I would wear the absolute heck out of these in the summer with a T-shirt and sneakers.
B: I really didn’t know what I was getting with these. I so, so badly want to get in on the low-rise trend, but I’ll need to embrace my insecurity around my stomach first, and that takes a little time. So, I figured these would be a good way to dip my toes in. To my surprise, they came out as my second favorite (ya know, just behind the ones I wore to the store, lol). I could see myself wearing these a lot in the summer or to work-from-home because they were so comfortable. Obviously, I need to opt for the “short” in these, but in my next online order, ‘ur coming home with me.
Besides the whole “my mid-section is hanging out there for the world” of it all, I feared checking my butt in the mirror. Do you remember the look of a low-rise bootcut jean from Hollister circa 2007 where the pockets were practically lower than your butt? It gave such a peculiar look that I do not even remotely want to go back to. I am pleased to say that these do not give me that at all. In the booty area, these fit just as well as my other favorites. “Baggy” made me think these wouldn’t hug my butt, hips, and thighs, but that’s definitely not the case.
True to size
M: I’m a little bit of a cheater here because I actually already ordered these shorts and knew that I love them, but I still tried them on in the store in another wash because let me tell you this: These are the best jean shorts I have ever put on my body.
Jean shorts are hard. They can’t be too short or too long and to find a pair you love is like finding a needle in a haystack, and holy cow, these are it, ladies. These are the perfect length that hits slightly above my mid-thigh, which means they aren’t long by any means, but have enough fabric that they hit at a super flattering point of the leg.
The looser fit of these shorts means that you don’t have a chance of getting the weird little thigh muffin top that some denim shorts can give, which is a gift to be dodging. I can’t put into words how much I love these. They feel vintage without being too oversized, and so flattering that I really don’t feel the need to look for another pair of denim shorts for this summer, which for me, is saying something. If you can get your hands on these in your size, do it ASAP.
These are the shorts I ordered in the cross-waist, and I love them so much. I can tell you right now I will not be wearing anything else all summer. I would literally get two of these just so I always have a clean pair.
B: The store had limited sizes, so again, I didn’t get to try these. But I want to try these shorts so bad and will be ordering some before the masses sell them out again. (I wanted these last year, and they truly didn’t have my size all summer. Curse you, TikTok.)
True to size
M: Given the name of these, I thought that they would be much baggier than they are, and unfortunately they didn’t have one size up for me to try in-store. If I was ordering these, I’d definitely size up so you get that truly baggy fit.
Again, these aren’t really low rise, they just aren’t high rise. These hit right below my belly button, which in one size up so I got the baggier feel, I think I’d really love. These are a great cool-girl denim shorts option for summer.
B: I grabbed my true size, and I’ll tell you right now, these are definitely not “baggy.” They fit quite tight on my stomach and waist in my true size, so I’m intrigued to see what sizing up would do for me (or maybe grabbing the Curve Love in my actual size). I really liked how these didn’t fit super tight against my leg, and they were a little longer. I will not be partaking in booty shorts in 2022. These also came in a really nice, thick material—similar to that of the Dad jeans that I love so much.
When I tried these on the store, I was like “aaaabsolutely not, lol,” but looking in photos, I actually really like them and would consider playing around with the sizing to get a better fit. With that said, when in doubt, I would definitely size up.
Choose one size up if you want a truly baggy fit